Cherry Blossoms

This is the first time that I’ve gone to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. and it was beautiful!  The cherry blossoms were simply spectacular, and walking around the Tidal Basin was quite an adventure.  There were enchanting views of tree after tree in full bloom.  Lots of other people were walking on the paths but there were plenty of opportunities to see the blossoms and take as many pictures as you wanted.  It was a cloudy day and chilly as well, but since snow had been predicted it was a relief to just have cloudy skies with no precipitation.  I bought a wool hat at Union Station to wear for the day and it helped me stay warm.  Too bad I didn’t buy some gloves as well!  I couldn’t help but take hundreds of pictures and my hands were cold, but it was worth it.

Cherry Blossoms

I’m not sure how far I walked but this was one of the views from the path:

Cherry blossom path

Some of the trees were quite old and had interesting trunks.

Very old cherry trees

It was a day I’ll always remember.  I’d like to go back next year, preferably on a warm, sunny day!

 

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Winter to Spring

There have been some interesting variations in the weather this January.  First it was cold and snowy, then it got warm and over the weekend there was a tornado warning.  Now it’s cold again and it might snow in a few days. After all this I’m hoping for an early spring!  I’m going to Florida (Orlando) in a few days and it will definitely be warmer than it is here. I’ve checked the extended weather forecast and it should be warm and sunny while I’m there.  I’m looking forward to seeing some flowers too.  They are always so cheerful and provide a hopeful reminder that spring will be returning, and the sooner the better!

What it looked like last week with snow:

January snow

Flowers that will (hopefully) be here soon…

Canyon Views and Wildflowers

 

This time I’m talking about Red Canyon in Utah.  I passed it on the road to Bryce Canyon and it looked so interesting I stopped there for a look around on the way back from Bryce.  Red Canyon has some moderately easy walks and hikes, so I walked on one of the shorter trails.  I liked this because I wanted to enjoy the views and take pictures without having to think about steep drop-offs!  I even saw some wildflowers along the way, which I always enjoy wherever I am.  Red Canyon had free admission and parking so I’d like to spend more time there the next time I’m in that area.

Some of the views:

And of course the flowers.

Red Canyon

Summer Garden with Butterflies

One of the nicest parts about summer is seeing all the flowers in bloom.  Right now in my garden there are purple coneflowers, daisies, black-eyed Susans, bee balm, phlox and many other colorful flowers, all competing for space.  Along with these plants are some interesting visitors such as butterflies, along with bumblebees and honey bees.  One of my favorite herbs is lavender, and since there was so much rain this spring followed by sunshine they have really grown.  Here is an assortment from my garden on a sunny day.  I would have taken more pictures but I was chased away by a bee that didn’t want any humans around!

A Rainy (and a Sunny) Day in Rochester

When I was in England this past March I spent most of my time in Kent.  During the week I went to Rochester for a visit and it was a rainy day.  I enjoyed visiting the Guildhall and the Cathedral but it was difficult to take many photos because of the weather.  I had to find an entryway or another sheltered spot where I could put down my umbrella and take pictures.  I didn’t end up venturing too far from where there were buildings and sidewalks.  Still, I thought it would be nice to return on a sunny day because it was a charming place.

Later in the week I had that opportunity so I took a train back to Rochester to see it in the sunshine.  It was so different to see everything on a bright (and breezy) day!  I took pictures of some of the same places I had just been to show the contrast.  And even though it was March there were flowers so I’ve included a picture of them too.  It was really interesting to see what a difference sunshine and blue sky made!

Welcome to Spring

 

It isn’t quite spring yet but it won’t be long now!  There have been some warm days recently and I’ve seen lots of cheery yellow daffodils in bloom, but because it is early March the days can be chilly.  Still, it’s only a few weeks until the beginning of spring and then we’ll be seeing this:

I’m going to England later this month and I’m looking forward to many new adventures.

A Garden Visitor

After visiting the Chelsea Flower Show in May I’ve been inspired to work on my own garden.  After all, who wouldn’t want a garden that looks like this?

So I’ve been tending my garden and the lavender, purple coneflowers, daisies, lemon balm, thyme and other herbs and flowers have really grown since I planted them last year.  There have been lots of bumblebees this summer but no butterflies until yesterday, when I saw a visitor among the flowers.

 

The butterfly didn’t seem to mind that I was standing very close to get these pictures. Since I’d selected flowers for this garden that would attract bees, butterflies and songbirds, I was delighted to see such a colorful visitor.  Later I did some research and discovered that it’s a Tiger Swallowtail, and I hope it comes back many, many times!

First Impressions of the Chelsea Flower Show

When I got off the tube at Sloane Square to go to the flower show I heard someone say to follow the crowds.  However it was around 8:00 am and it looked like a lot of the crowd was going to work.  Finally I decided to follow a group of people wearing straw hats and sunglasses.  This was a good decision because after a few minutes I saw signs for the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could walk right up to the exhibit gardens without having to wait behind people to see anything.  These were the first flowers I saw.

Chelsea

Since lavender is a favorite of mine I enjoyed seeing this pretty arrangement.  These were some of the gardens around the corner:

I couldn’t believe that I’d seen all these exhibits within my first fifteen minutes of being there!  But what followed was both beautiful and solemn.  I had heard about the field of poppies, but seeing it was an unforgettable experience.  Here is an explanation as well as some pictures.

 

I lingered at this exhibit and after a while I could see all the individual flowers and think about the work that had gone into this display.  There were also people carrying examples of these handmade poppies to show us.  Each one was unique yet they blended together so well.  I returned to this exhibit several times during the day but I never got as good a view as I did early in the morning.

I wanted the time to go slowly while I was there – I didn’t want the day to end!  I have many more stories and pictures from that wonderful day.

Scenes from the Chelsea Flower Show

I’ve just returned from a visit to England, where I spent last Thursday at the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could see the gardens and Pavilion displays before it became crowded.  It was an extraordinary experience for someone who loves flowers and gardens (that’s me).  The weather was perfect with sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds.  Here are some views from the show – there will be many future posts because I took over 300 pictures!

Chelsea Flower Show

Some scenes from the show:

A quotation that I noticed in the Great Pavilion.

Chelsea Flower Show